Cancers comprise of a complex class of diseases triggered by structural and expression abnormalities of both coding and non-coding genes. The functions,purposes and mutations in many of these molecular targets are yet to be discovered. Apparently the problem has an added level of complexity with the arising issues of resistance to anti-neoplastic drugs and other targeted therapy. An increasing number of cases exhibit both; lack of efficacy to cancer drugs from the start of therapy (primary resistance) as well as acquired resistance during the course of treatment (secondary resistance). Research teams at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar and the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (IRCC), Italy, are joining forces to tackle this big issue of resistance to antineoplastic drugs, with special focus on targeted treatment and their possible cooperation with chemotherapeutic drugs. The study proposes a large-scale integrated functional genomics approach to identifying novel diagnostic markers and molecular therapeutic targets in Colon, Breast & Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers. It involves expression libraries (cDNA, shRNA, miRNA) based screenings to identify molecular transcripts that drive neoplastic transformation or modulate cancer cells response to targeted treatments. The study is thus set to unveil valuable sets of bio-markers and potential therapeutic targets to enable early cancer detection and foster personalized treatment. Apparently it holds a promising future potential to open new lines into the establishment of a centralized, standard platform for functional genomics screenings also stretching to other (cardiovascular, immunological, neurological and metabolic) diseases apart from cancer within the State of Qatar.


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